About the album
Some people ask the Danish drummer, Stefan Pasborg, why he calls his band ’Odessa 5’ ? He answers, that he actually never visited Odessa, and continues, ”But once you’ve seen the ’Odessa Steps Sequence’ from Eisenstein’s movie film ’Battleship Potemkin’ (1925), you’ll have to agree with me, that there’s a mystical vibe around the city! The position as a major port by The Black Sea has not reduced my ’mystification’; Seeing it from the perspective of the northern Viking that I am (!), the image of a sea which is black (with black being my favorite color) is definitely sounding much more interesting and something worth fantasizing about, than the cold seas in my neighborhood, e.g. ’Kattegat’ (meaning: The ass of a cat!).”
But Stefan Pasborg’s fascination doesn’t stop here; For a long period Odessa was a so called ’free port’ and therefore became home to a very diverse population of Russians, Ukrainians, Jews, Romanians, Greeks, Bulgarians, Albanians, Armenians, Italians, Frenchmen, Germans and traders representing many other nationalities – a cosmopolitan nature you probably today only find in a city like New York. Furthermore the intricate network of underground mines (The Odessa Catacombs) tunneled into the spongy rock that served as building material for the city, even once worked as the shelter of pirates and contraband smugglers. What a dramatic mixture!
Because of the fact that the imaginative and exciting young Danish drummer never have been as far as Odessa, he always allowed his imagination to run loose:
”In my imaginative-Odessa I see a melting pot of all possible nationalities, pirates, smugglers, huge USSR-armies marching, canons exploding, battleships fighting, endless markets with everything from jewels to snakes for sale etc. accompanied by a gigantic ’cacophony’ of enormous USSR-male-choirs, Balkan-brass-bands from Rumania and Bulgaria, several young piano-prodigies performing Rachmaninovs 2. piano concert in unison, while a bunch of middle-eastern darbuka-players - just arrived by boat from Istanbul - plays the beat from my tune Gullash Baron.”
The only reason Pasborg never will visit Odessa is probably, that the city never would be able to live up to his imagination! So he’d rather stay up here in the cold North and keep his version of Odessa intact.
Naturally no existing band would ever be able to create the music-score to Stefan Pasborgs ’Odessa-fantasy’, but with the mixture of 5 musicians being Scandinavians who plays music inspired by ’the warmer countries’, combined with the elements of improvisation, world, jazz, rock etc. etc., he hopes you’ll be able to feel the multi-ethnical vibe, the canons exploding and sometimes feel the presence of a pirate or two!
19The Old Russian
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